Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome, Old Friends!

I found a beautiful quote today. I found it in an old, old book. It was titled "Faith Made Easy" by James H. Potts, published in 1888. There in the front of the book, just after the publisher information and before the preface were a few passages from different works, one of which struck me so powerfully when I read it that I saved it, and decided to post it here in my blog.

"No one is so much alone in the universe as a denier of God. With an orphaned heart, which has lost the greatest of fathers, he stands mourning by the immeasurable corpse of nature, no longer moved or sustained by the Spirit of the universe, but growing in it’s grave; and he mourns, until he himself crumbles away from the dead body."

~ Richter

I almost want to leave off there for tonight, it's such an intense thought to ponder. The depth of the reality of it all was like a slap in the face to me. Then I started thinking about the writer. 'Who' Richter? I tried to discover who, but I have absolutely no idea, and that is shameful!

There are so many wonderful books by inspired writers that are fading away. It seems such a shame that so much has been lost to time in old, out of print books. People poured their hearts and lives into them, and now they lay unopened, collecting dust someplace destined to be forgotten. It just doesn't seem right to treat those venerable old volumes with such disregard. Any time I see one I thumb through it's pages simply because they should be thumbed through at least once more.

I may be a little behind everyone else, but I've recently discovered a really wonderful feature on the Google search page. Actually, I think my husband showed it to me. Whatever way I came across it, for about four or five months now I can't get my nose out of it. It's Google Books. Google has really done something wonderful here. They have resurrected the old, dying books for a new generation to see if we will just go look at them. I love old books, and I have been consumed with exploring them ever since I found this feature!

Go to the main Google search page and go to the top left side of the page. There's a fly down menu on the right side of that little menu bar that says "more." Go in there and click "books", type in your search parameters, enter, and there it is. That's pretty cool, but wait... there's more! (Sounded like an infomercial there, didn't I?) After you do that, look up just above the list of results in your window. There's another little fly down menu that says "Showing: All Books." Open that and it will give you the option "full view only." Select that and you should get a new list of mostly very old, out of print books in there entirety that you can download to your computer!

I don't know if that is exciting to anyone else, but I think it's wonderful! There are bits of history sprinkled there that aren't common knowledge to us any more. How do you build a fireplace that you can cook in, sit around and heat your house with? Or better yet, how did the great-grandfather of a man writing a book in the eighteen nineties build a one? What was commonly found in an average Victorian era home? What do you feed your cow if you want good butter? Where did your local dialects originate? It's endless, and it's interesting! At least it is to me.

I know I can't read them all. Some would bore me to tears anyway, but it's nice to know that they are preserved. They have a new opportunity to been seen by the eyes of a whole new generation of people. The authors can live a little bit longer. The lore isn't altogether lost. Thanks, Google.

1 comment:

Representative said...

The site has changed over time and no doubt will change again a few times in the future, so the way to access it all is a bit different, but it's all still there! I LOVE Google books!!